It’s been a strange season in the NBA, especially for teams like the Celtics, Raptors, and Lakers. However, even the best teams this season are struggling from a historical standpoint.
With two games left this season for the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns (the two teams still in contention for the league’s best record), whoever comes out on top in the race for the #1 seed in the West will have one of the lowest winning percentages for a team with the best record in the league in NBA history. If the Jazz win at least one more game down the stretch, they will have the worst winning percentage for the top team since the 2000-01 Spurs. If Utah fails to win any games and the Suns win one or zero, then it will be the worst record for a regular season champion since the 1978-79 Washington Bullets.
In the three most recent seasons that were shortened due to a varying array of reasons, the 2019-20 Milwaukee Bucks had a winning percentage .767 in 73 games, the 2011-12 Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs tied for the league’s best record with a winning percentage of. 758 in 66 games, and in 1998-99 the San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz were tied for the top spot with a winning percentage of .740. The 1998-99 Spurs were the only one of those teams to make it past the conference finals. The highest possible winning percentage for the Utah Jazz this season is .722.
The absences many teams have suffered due to strict COVID-19 Health & Safety protocols have led to more parody this season across the NBA. As a result, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding which teams will find success in the NBA Playoffs.
“I have no earthy clue who the favorite is to get out of the West.” ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on a recent episode of The Lowe Post. “I don’t even know how I would begin to pick the West.”
The current favorite to win the NBA championship according to Draft Kings is the Brooklyn Nets at +200 with the Lakers in second at +400.
(Photo: Kevin C. Cox – Getty Images)